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Bond Trade That’s Gone From Zero to $88 Billion in Two Years

  • Wall Street reaps the benefits of rise in portfolio trading
  • Emergence of credit ETFs makes for a fixed-income revolution
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Peter Chalif traces his early days at Citigroup Inc. to a time when trading a large basket of bonds involved hours of work with pen and paper. Now he’s running a team that can accomplish the same feat in seconds.

Chalif credits much of the change to technology-enabled portfolio trading, which is bringing the same blazing speeds to the bond market that stock traders take for granted. Banks are hoping the strategy will help them grab a bigger slice of a shrinking fixed-income pie even as it bites into the industry’s profit margins.